This is a continuation of a story, begun with an episode entitled We Started a Joke, seen here: https://secret-lifeof.com/2018/01/25/we-started-a-joke/
Around the world, we buried our dead.
Quickly, quickly. Summer temperatures were reaching over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and the risk of disease was high.
Catastrophic weather events were occurring with increasing regularity. Massive flooding, huge and powerful storms, earthquakes and forest fires were commonplace. Power grids across the globe had been damaged or destroyed by the invaders. In our zeal to repel them, we had resorted to atomic weapons. Their only effect was to instill yet more radiation into the environment.
Governments were disintegrating, along with national boundaries. The mortality rate was climbing. Those of us left were in desperation. Over the course of months, the remaining leaders of the world formed a cooperative coalition to build shelters and provide food and medical aid. We were no longer at war with each other. The enemy now was our own folly, having set in motion the inexorable process of planetary destruction.
But, all was not folly. In the forty years preceding the arrival of the invaders, the wise among us, both government and private, had carried on with plans to build the necessary ships and machinery to make the leap across space to the planet Mars. It had begun with ships carrying robots, whose task it was to build rudimentary settlements for the succor of the first pioneers. Once it was known that this had been a success, the building of ships began in earnest. In those four decades, many were launched. Some were lost. We learned from our mistakes.
At last, over two hundred pioneers had embarked on the final frontier. Most were successful, and became the first in history to set foot on another planet.
There is an old story or legend about the 300 Spartans who defended their homeland against impossible odds. With the launching of our last ship, in the fall of 2070, our numbers on Mars would match those of the Spartans. We were not fighting a tangible enemy, but our struggle to survive and to thrive on a hostile world would be the stuff of history.
I know. I am one of the three hundred.
To be continued……
© 2018 Lee Dunn
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.